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I'm considering purchasing an alhambra 9p guitar from a local store. It's a new guitar, but the top seems to have some stains/nonuniformities (see the picture). How much of a defect is that? enter image description here

  • Look at some of the "blemishes" that violins can have tarisio.com/cozio-archive/property/?ID=1951 – James K Oct 3 at 9:05
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    There was a good answer here that was deleted for some reason that mentioned this is a serious instrument, $2100 serious to be exact. You did not point out the various light spots on the treble side of the guitar which also may or may not bother you. Funny how the pics of the guitar on the advertisements have flawless tops on them. If they’re going to bother you over time move on. If you can live with them go for a nice discount. – John Belzaguy Oct 3 at 16:42
  • @JohnBelzaguy - it was deleted by a mod - i cannot see why, particularly - it was a constructive answer, which now cannot be undeleted. – Tim Oct 4 at 17:11
  • @Tim same here, it was a good answer, I frankly cannot see the rationale for that and closing questions at times. For example sometimes analysis and help transcribing is allowed and other times it is shut down. I’m guessing this comment will probably be deleted if a mod sees it. – John Belzaguy Oct 4 at 18:15
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    I have a lot of respect for mods, but I feel that sometimes it's necessary for them to justify publicly their actons. We're all adults here! – Tim Oct 4 at 18:29
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I have a theory that many guitar manufacturers leave good looking wood finishes for natural guitars, and those which have blemishes, or don't look as good, are painted, often black. Either won't really affect the sound of the particular guitar, but it means more guitars can be made and sold - in fact, some players prefer coloured guitars.

Could be that this one was on the edge, or someone considered it to be fine natural. It's not beyond anything to ask for discount if you really like the sound and the way it plays. Or leave it and buy a different one. That choice is yours - bear in mind when selling it on that the blemishes may also put off prospective purchasers. But as long as it has a nice ring sound when it's tapped, there's nothing to worry about sound-wise. Only complexion-wise.

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  • Is there any chance the blemishes will flatten over time? I would love to buy another one, but it's in a single copy.. – Eugene Yarmash Oct 3 at 8:07
  • Doubtful. If it were me, I'd be pushing for discount ! – Tim Oct 3 at 9:06
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From what I’ve seen that’s how wood looks. Appears perfectly normal to me.

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The two smaller things next to the fretboard look completely harmless to me, but the long one below the bridge looks like it might be a crack, and that could be problematic since cracks along the wood grain have a tendency to grow over time, and even a small crack may cause really annoying buzzing sounds.

I think in this case it's still ok since it's far enough away from the bridge where most force is concentrated, but I'd definitely take a really close look at that one. Is the surface properly even there? Does it sound suspiciously different when you knock with your fingers right next to that spot?

If it is a crack, then you should definitely consider making this a case for a discount.

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    If it is a crack, then you should definitely consider making for the exit - without it ! – Tim Oct 3 at 13:56
  • That too, but I wouldn't be dogmatic about it. If the crack happened during final assembly and they made a good effort to seal it then the guitar may be perfectly ok in practice, so if you can get a bargain out of it, I'd say it might be worth the risk – as long as it still sounds good. – leftaroundabout Oct 3 at 15:00
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My thought is that, if you are worried about this now, the worry will never go away.

You ask if the blemishes will flatten. Does this mean that you can feel them as well as see them? That would be very unusual. The answer is no. These things don't go away of their own accord. An expert might be able to remove any unevenness but this could cost you as much as the guitar is worth to be done properly..

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If you are like me then every time you pick the guitar up you will be aware of the blemishes and you will never be 100% happy about it. My personal recommendation would therefore be to wait. If you are not like me then it makes sense to be guided entirely by the sound. If you are new to guitar then do your best to get an experienced player to go along with you.

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  • > Does this mean that you can feel them as well as see them? No. Perhaps, I should have said "smooth out" instead of "flatten", I'm not a native English speaker :) – Eugene Yarmash Oct 3 at 18:24
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Thats just the grain in the wood, when they made that guitar, they should have caught that. How much is the guitar? Wow 2100 bucks, don't think I would purchase that for fear of it cracking when the wood ages.

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